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Right, so the tables have been turned on me. After making all my friends back home jealous with my travel pictures and stories about my European summer high life, the Punishment Fairy decided to strike. The first snowfall in my hometown since since before my birth, and it happens while I’m getting a tan on the beach. Oh yeah, my childhood fantasy to see snow falling at ‘home’… how that ship has sailed!

And as my facebook friends have noticed, for the last couple of weeks my most used comment on their pictures and status updates:

I. AM. SO. JEALOUS.

So let me come clean, I’m missing all my friends in the Southern hemisphere and feel incredibly left out to read their stories about suffering to stay warm by the fire with a glass of vin rouge.

Obviously I’ve been trying to soothe my homesick soul by grabbing every opportunity for distraction, and so have enjoyed doing yoga with daddy-M (a professional yoga instructor), swimming in Lac de Ste-Croix, good movies and great dining experiences.

And then there was my birthday, on Sunday, which turned out to be more fun than I could have expected. First of all I was made to feel incredibly special by all the friends and family who sent message and made phone calls. The best birthday message from home: little niece Kara singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me over the phone… My heart still melts at the memory!

The two dads? Well, they did more than their bit to make my third summers birthday special for me. Already waking up I could hear them scrambling around, and I knew something was up! Entered the kitchen and a camera was shoved into my face… to capture my reaction to the sight of a whole table packed with gifts, flowers and a berry-tart. My response: “Who else has their birthday today? Surely these gifts cannot ALL be for me!?!”

They were. And then there was singing. There were candles to be blown out. There were gifts to open; each with a note card to explain the significance of the gift.

No, I am not kidding you.

And since I am sure that no description can do justice to the effort and thoughtfulness with which the gifts were chosen, I won’t even try.

Birthday morning in the village. View of the valley.

Next on the day’s agenda was coffee and pastries on the place with local and visiting friends, and as if I hadn’t been spoiled enough already I got even more birthday wishes and gifts! Yup, I am totally and completely and utterly overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness on my birthday. But as if all that wasn’t good enough already, we headed to a Michelin Star restaurant for lunch. Chez Bruno’s Truffle restaurant outside of Lorgues.

Bruno completely wowed me with his degustation menu, which consisted of about seven courses of the finest French cuisine. And apart from the dessert courses, everything was loaded with summer truffles! Absolutely divine.

Our long lunch came to an end and we arrived home just in time for a quick swim in the pool before the thunder storm arrived to end the day with the grandeur of thunder, lightning and summer rain. Aaaaah!

Perfect 29th birthday. And now I get to count down two weeks until I embark on my trip home.

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